Davis the pack leader for ‘Dogs
Before the next Flannery Davis takes over, the original Flannery Davis has one final year to overcome “senioritis” and help lead the Palisade soccer team back to state.
What’s senioritis? An affliction of anticipation that makes seniors crave leaving a school or town and, in Davis’s case, heading off to St. Mary’s College of California to play soccer.
The cure may be the Bulldogs’ potential this season.
“This is the best we’ve been in a couple years,” Davis said.
The “next” Flannery Davis, according to Palisade coach Raina Sorensen, may be freshman Audrey Rose Kachin, who, along with Micah Feller, travel from Plateau Valley High to play soccer.
“She plays like a senior and competes like a senior as well,” Sorensen said. “She’s like the next Flannery.”
Davis, a center-midfielder who helped lead Palisade to the first round of state last season, began playing soccer at age 4.
“They always say others would be picking daisies and eating oranges at halftime,” Davis said, “and I’d just want to play and score goals.”
Her freshman season, Davis started and helped the Bulldogs make the playoffs for the first time in 11 seasons.
Her sophomore year, Palisade qualified for state and had a seven-game winning streak. Davis played with her sister, goalkeeper Amelia, who later walked on at the University of Denver.
Last spring, Palisade went 10-5-1 and lost to Lewis-Palmer, 1-0, in the first round of state.
Although the top teams in the 4A Western Slope League likely are Battle Mountain, Steamboat Springs and Glenwood Springs, Palisade expects to compete for a league title.
Sorensen, in her third season as the Bulldogs head coach (she played soccer at Colorado Mesa University) has not had to deal with teenage girl “drama.”
How did that happen?
“I don’t know,” Sorensen said with a laugh. “Somehow I just got lucky. I just got a great group of girls.:”
Davis not only has been a 50-50 ball winner, scorer and leader, she ensures there’s respectful communication between seniors and freshmen.
“We want to make sure they feel welcome,” Davis said. “We want to be there for them to talk to us if they need to.”
Davis lets the freshmen know what’s hidden beyond the Book Cliffs and Grand Mesa surrounding Grand Junction — soccer talent, and lots of it.
As a freshman, Davis competed in a Olympic Development Program 1994 camp throughout Utah.
“It was a reality shock,” Davis said. “There are so many good players outside the Western Slope. Some players don’t know there’s a whole new world outside Grand Junction. They think they’re good players but they don’t know how good yet. They haven’t seen outside Grand Junction.”